I want to try a different tonearm on my classic

Hello AGONers,

I have been thinking about trying a new tonearm on my classic 1. I beleive I want to try something outside the JMW line. Have any of you VPI users made an upgrade to your tonearm? If so, What make and model tonearm are you getting good results with? I currently have the JMW 10.5 arm with a soundsmith sussuro paua. This combination sound nice and I have been happy with it thus far. I am just curious to see if I cant squeeze more performance out of this cartridge with a different tonearm. Do you guys have any suggestions or should I just stay with the JMW.....

Probably the easiest change would be a Rega arm, probably the RB1000 or RB700. The JMW arms were designed to be drop in replacements for Rega arms, so I would imagine that would work the other way too. It's something I've considered too, as it would move you from a unipivot to a gimbal bearing tonearm.

Of course this would probably be a lateral move in the long run, as it may make some improvements while also offering it's own limitations or problems.
Different technology = different positive and negative attributes.

At least that's what I think, which is why I haven't made any actions on my thoughts.

Now if you want to go outside the box, and look at a Tri-Planar or Graham, I think you'd need to modify your VPI table to fit the new arm. That's too much effort for me.
Yes.. the point about the Rega/JMW interchangability is they use the same geometry.
So a different aftermarket arm would need a different hole in the plinth to be set up right.

I agree the swap to a Rega would be a lateral move, and not an upgrade.
Though it might sound different as unipivot vs gimbal
thanks for the thoughts jmcgrogan and elizabeth. After some furthur research, I have decided it would be too much effort to modifiy my table to accept another arm. I might just continue to save my dollars for a new table at a later date.
A Rega arm will not just drop in the VPI Classic. The Classic arm is an 10.5 inch arm. If you really want to use another brand arm and don't want to modify the table yourself I believe VPI can do it for you. Tri-Planar or a Reed 10.5" would be the easiest. A Graham will not work without allot of modification due to where the tonearm cable exits the arm and the fact that it exits at 90 degrees. The plinth of the Classic is too thick for the Graham's tonearm cable to clear the bottom.
thanks for the insight Sarcher. I will look into that.
I own the Triplanar VII as well as the Reed 2A (12'') but enjoy the old FR-64 s the most. As some Aussie stated the best buy arm in existance. That is to say a bargain. There
is a myth about the eff. mass of this arm but 'it depends' from the used headshell. However I would never use a light weight headshell. Those cheap (magnesium) Sumiko headshells with azimuth provision and included wire are excelent (13g). I use this arm to test all kinds of carts; the MM kind and the MC kind.
Just for clarification, the JMW 10 and JMW 10.5 are both 10 inch arms. The JMW 10.5i and the Classic are 10.5 inch arms.
You have to find something with the same spindle to pivot distance that fits in the VPI cutout. The spindle to pivot of the 10.5 is reported to be 250mm. The vinyl engines tonearm database reports two arms that are 250mm, the Opera Audio ST600 10.5" and the Sony PUA-9. You could do further research to see if any modifications are required to the cutout etc.
Try a Helius omega or aurora, both excellent SMS with little hype
I think the VPI website is serving up some doubtful info about the 250 MM spindle to pivot distance.

See the 5 year old Vinyl Engine report on VPI's actual geometry numbers for the JMW 10.5i. It's actually 262mm.